20 March 2017
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union in Free State held its first PEC meeting of the year on the 17th - 18th March 2017. The PEC meeting is attended by the Provincial Working Committee, Regional Chairpersons and Secretaries; all the six regions were represented. The meeting got the secretariat report and discussed organisational, political and labour issues.
The PEC took place after our National Executive Committee meeting held on the 24-25 February 2017 where, as always, issues of members were prioritised. We committed ourselves to implement decisions of the NEC in our endeavour to cement the unity of the union.
The PEC then resolved as follows:
On membership service
The PEC, guided by our 2030 Vision Pillar number 1 - servicing union members, noted the steady growth of the union which is currently at 15000 members agreed to intensify service to members and close the social distance by regular visits to sites to listen to members.
The PEC was satisfied with programmes being initiated by branches to popularise and defend the union especially during the celebration of SADTU Day every first Friday of the month.
On May Day celebration
The PEC noted the importance of asserting COSATU as the home and the voice of all workers by ensuring that members of the union attend May Day celebration in Bloemfontein in multitudes. The day is important for the unity of the workers around the globe and in our country it reminds us of the unity forged of the Alliance components, ANC, SACP and COSATU which the PEC believes it should be strengthened and maintained.
The union has organised Education Workers Fora in all the six regions as a build up to the celebration. We committed to work tirelessly on the ground to mobilise members and ensure that Bloemfontein is painted red on the 1st of May 2017.
On Quality Teaching and Learning Campaign (QLTC)
The PEC noted the positive impact of QLTC in education in the province and the need to strengthen this noble campaign which is the brain child of the African National Congress.
We are however concerned with the emergence of the parallel structure in the form of "Education Committees" which is now overshadowing QLTC. The responsibilities of the education committees are located within QLTC and there is no need to replicate the structure.
The PEC rejects the establishment of education committees and will strive for strengthening of QLTC.
On writing of common papers
The PEC welcomed the work in progress by the department of education to phase-out the setting of common papers by provincial department in favour of development and empowerment of educators to set own papers in schools. The union will support and monitor the realisation of this objective.
On Payment of Temporary Teachers and Allocations to schools
The PEC having met with department of education and Treasury on the 17th March 2017 welcomed the commitment being made to pay outstanding salaries of temporary teachers within three weeks.
The PEC was also comfortable with the engagements to delegate powers to endorse approval for appointments to the HOD as opposed to the current centralised approval of different departments. The meeting was in agreement that education is a different sector from other departments and appointment of teachers is ongoing and with education being apex priority the presence of teachers in front of learners cannot be compromised.
The PEC was however vocal against the conduct of Treasury to silently renege from its commitment to allocate funds to schools on quarterly basis and in case of delay a communiqué would be generated to schools indicating the delay and payments within two weeks. Teachers and principals have been put under severe pressure to produce results whilst not supported with necessary resources such as allocations schools are entitled to.
The PEC considered finance as part of governance and will mobilise SGBs to take lead in this regard whilst Treasury will be pressurised to release the money for effective teaching and learning.
On recategorisaton of schools
The PEC sent strong warning to the department of education not to circumvent the policy on recategoriation which intends categorising schools into primary and secondary by introducing merging of schools. The PEC called on structures of the union and SGBs to be vigilant and oppose any measures introduced outside the policy.
On Motheo Fiasco
The PEC raised its disappointment in the Department of Higher Education for delaying the release of the findings of the forensic investigations conducted at the college emanating from the call by the union. Members of the union continue to work under difficult conditions of being harassed, intimidated and marginalised by the principal in the college.
The PEC acknowledged the good work being done by the union to defend members despite all the challenges. We further appreciated the support from COSATU and SACP in the province and the intervention of the 2nd Deputy General Secretary of SACP.
To take the struggle forward the PEC resolved on intensifying its campaign against the intransigent principal of Motheo TVET College by organising a massive march to the Department of Higher Education in Pretoria on reopening of schools in April 2017.
On capacity building
The PEC resolved on strengthening its support to the development of members of the Young Women Brigade in the union and to cascade the labour training to all shop stewards in braches and sites.
On ANC succession debates
The PEC was in agreement on the need to popularise the decision of the CEC of COSATU on the name of the Deputy President comrade Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed the President of the ANC. The PEC was fully aware of the status of COSATU in the ANC conference hence the need to influence and canvass support amongst those who will be attending the conference.
The PEC believed that the unity of the ANC as the leader of the Alliance is sacrosanct and that any deviation from the tradition and culture of the movement on succession of Presidents will undermine the so desired unity.
On the SASSA saga
The PEC was adamant against those who want to tarnish the image of the movement by not complying with the orders of the courts with reference to the department of social development. The department was given ample time by the court to correct the wrongdoing in the awarding of the contact but failed to uphold the ruling of the court which has now put the department in this quagmire.
Issued by Provincial Secretariat
Provincial Secretary: Mokholoane Moloi : 076 811 2777
Deputy Secretary: Ntombizanele Sifuba: 079 691 7358